DAYTONA BEACH – It was not Raelene Blake's first breast cancer walk, but it was her first year as a survivor to go.
Blake, 43, of Palm Coast, had an army behind him, filled with family, friends, and Target employees. They all wore gray shirts with a pink chest band and "Team Raelene" on the back.
"It was hard to fight," Blake said. "But it made me stronger as a person and made me aware of what's important in life."
What matters to Blake is family – including her husband, two children and three stepchildren – friends and quality of life.  "When I was diagnosed for the first time, I was really worried about how my kids would react and about their future," Blake said with tears in his eyes. "They were worried, but they are fine."
Survivors, supporters and volunteers huddled on the grass of the Riverfront Park to mark the 25th annual walk through the heart of the city for the American Cancer Society's "Steps Against Breast Cancer Walk". "A 60-degree welcome began with more than 1
Cities across the country go for a walk each year to raise funds for local cancer programs According to the American Cancer Society, more than 252,710 people will have breast cancer in 2018. On the positive side, the mortality rate from the disease has plummeted in the US This past year, a major focus for the American Cancer Society is access to care, according to Tenna Pappas, Area Manager Program for Mission Delivery.
"The main reason that cancer patients get no care because they can not get there, "said Pappas from her booth in the P ark. "We have a" Road To Recovery "program that offers volunteers free trips for patients."
Makayla Edwards, 19, a freshman at Bethune Cookman University, volunteered to support her aunt, the Fights Breast Cancer
"The best thing is to see the survivors," Edwards said. "It was really hard to watch my aunt fight, so I wanted to do something to help."
Ugene Brady, 79, from DeLand, set out to assist his wife Sheila, who had a double mastectomy seven years ago, to get rid of two types of cancer in her breasts.
"The worst part of the whole thing was the 10-hour surgery," Brady said. She is in remission and she is here with me.
Sheila said that double mastectomy is a very tough decision, but she has "no choice."
"If I wanted to live, I had to do that," Sheila said, finally having hers last year "When we walk around here, I get very emotional because I know I'm not alone."
For Shakia Moore from Daytona Beach, walking is a way not just to her mother, They both died of breast cancer.
"It was a lot of hard work to take care of them," Moore said. "Many difficult nights in which I felt like an island."  The American Cancer Society estimates that 2,550 men are newly diagnosed with breast cancer, and although breast cancer is less likely in men, it still happens.
"It was a shock to both of us when we found out," Moore said about her dad He was the first man I knew to have breast cancer, but we had a very supportive doctor to help us with that. "
Both Moore's parents died before they turned fifty. Her mother was the first one in 2002. Only a year later, her father was diagnosed. He died in 2006.
"He was a fighter," said Moore. "He treated every day as if he were alive."
Moore walks every year since her mother's death, saying it's her way of not feeling like an island and giving her a sense of "community, support, and encouragement."